Members of the Black Student Organization at the University of Nevada Las Vegas are outraged over the university’s response to a shooting threat found inside a bathroom two weeks ago.
Now they’re putting pressure on university officials to do more to make Black students feel safe.
The note, discovered in a restroom on the main campus Oct. 10, threatened a campus shooting, apparently for Oct. 16, and made disparaging remarks about African-American students, as well as supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Vegas station KSNV 3 reported.
The BSO, along with students of other races, held a peaceful protest Monday to voice their issues with the university’s half-hearted response to the threat and what they hope to see changed.
“The response was delayed. They didn’t let us know as soon as they found it,” a member of the organization e-board told the outlet. “They let us know too late, and made it seem as though the threat wasn’t really that deep, or that important.”
Other students echoed that sentiment, saying they felt UNLV didn’t take the threat seriously enough.
The university didn’t cancel classes after the note was discovered, leaving it up to students and professors to decide if it was safe to attend lecture. Rather, the school opted to increase police presence on campus after determining there was nothing credible to support the threat.
“I became aware of the threat late last week and have since been working with our law enforcement partners to determine the validity of the threat,” Adam Garcia, the associate vice president and director of University Police Services, said in a campus email blast on the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 14. “Today, out of an abundance of caution, it was decided to make the campus aware since neither the author of the note could be identified nor the validity of the threat be determined.”
On Tuesday, the UNLV administration heard questions and comments from angry students who criticized their handling of the incident. Students with the university’s Residence Hall Association, which advocates for students living on campus, penned an open letter to the administration demanding an apology from university President Marta Meana for waiting days to alert students.
“There is an open threat towards your black students and students who support Bernie Sanders and you waited until the very last minute to inform the campus community,” it read.
The letter also called on UNLV to implement a system for handling future threats and additional funding to keep current security guards stationed at residential complexes.
So far, no suspect has been named.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas didn’t return requests for comment.